Love is Stronger than Alzheimer’s

*July 2017*
My dad left this world in July of 2011.
Every year since I posted this story, I return during the month of July to read and remember.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It’s been six years since my dad died of complications due to Alzheimer’s disease. The last time I saw him, he did not know who I was. Regardless, we spent the entire day holding hands as we walked up and down the hallways of the Alzheimer’s nursing home. He didn’t say much, but I know that he appreciated the company. His smile was genuine; his eyes still sparkled like blue ocean water.

While I was there, the caregivers at the home repeatedly told him that I was his daughter.
I think their constant reminders began to annoy him, because when the last ‘lady in blue’ passed by, he decided to introduce me before she could say anything.  He stood up, pointed at me, and said: “This is my desire. I want her to be your desire too.”

I know that he meant to say daughter. But I think that ‘Desire’ is the most beautiful name that anyone has ever called me.
Mary and Dad
As I walked through time with him that day, I thought about how short life appears to be in the end. Seconds somehow became years while we weren’t watching, and memories  slowly faded away like shadows of a dream coming to an end in the morning light.

Dad_1
Before I left that day,
I hugged my dad and quietly said—
“Don’t worry. God remembers you.”
He gently kissed me on the cheek and waved goodbye.

Peace be with you always, dad.
None of us remember the beginning of life
spent in the darkness of the womb,
but we were surely there.
Dad_2
And so it is with the end of life—
our memories do not define us!
We came into the world because of love,
and we leave the world in the hands of love.
Through love, in love, with love–we are.
Memories may come and go
but love endures forever.      ~ms

About Mary Strong-Spaid

You can find me any time wandering around in my own mind gathering thoughts.
This entry was posted in Philosophy, Photo Essay and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Love is Stronger than Alzheimer’s

  1. Dina says:

    A big hug to you.

    Dina

  2. David Crews says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I’ve enjoyed your site and your story here especially touched me as I also lost my Dad this year to complications from Alzheimer’s. It taught me a lot about living in the present moment and unconditional love.
    Peace, David.

  3. It taught me a lot also about what is really important in life. Peace to you also David.

  4. Lynda says:

    Your words are simply beautiful, Mary. Thank you for sharing them with me. Your father was so handsome!

  5. ajaytao2010 says:

    Mary you are so beautiful and what a story of your dad who was unable to even recognise you at the end, what a beautiful human he seemed in his younger days, I want to give you a big hug and cry for everything you are

    • Your kind sentiments are greatly appreciated, Ajay. Reading through this again, perhaps I should add the exact words that I said when I was leaving (when I hugged my dad goodbye and told him not to worry).
      With my arms around him and my face close against his cheek, I whispered–“Don’t worry, Dad, don’t worry. God remembers you.”

  6. Judy says:

    Beautiful words and you Dad was a handsome man!! My mother does not have the official dx but probably it is Alzheimers or in the family of conditions I guess. Memory gaps growing and with anger issues, but still herself much of the time and we can still share reading and art. Sometimes when I have an issue with a composition, she has the best eye for the critique still. I enjoy that.

  7. jmgoyder says:

    What an amazing tribute – beautiful and for me inspirational – thank you!

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  9. Tamie says:

    This is such a beautiful memory, Thank you for sharing Mary, you truly have a gift. I miss you.

  10. Graham Brown says:

    This is a lovely article to commemorate your father, Mary. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and emotions. Thank you also for your kind comments about my blog. Very best wishes from Orkney, Graham

    • Thanks Graham…you and I are about the same age I see! Which is another reason I enjoy your blog. We basically grew up during the same time period. Shared similar life experiences. Somehow now, life doesn’t feel as safe as it used to….

  11. Tamie says:

    Beautiful tribute to your father and your last moments with him. Desire is a beautiful name. I pray Texas is being good to you.

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